As we are ending our year, reports cards will be sent home this upcoming Monday, June 26th. This year, our report card will look a little different in the learning skills portion of reporting. The students have been doing some self reflecting over the past couple of weeks on their strengths and needs around their learning skills and have been able to contribute to the Learning Skills comments on their report cards.
Through conferencing and input with myself, the students have been able to really reflect on themselves as learners and set goals for next year. The first step of this process was that each student needed to understand the language of Learning Skills. They would have to get what it means to be responsible, organized, independent, collaborative students that have initiative and self-regulation. So we completed a “self-report card” and they assessed themselves on each of these areas. I then sat down with each student and had a discussion about the accuracy of their self – assessment. I was so impressed at how articulate each of the students were and how in sync they were with my assessments of them. Almost all students were able to identify strengths and weaknesses and set goals for next year. They were all able to identify examples of these strengths and weaknesses with little guidance from me. I was so satisfied that the ongoing feedback they have been receiving all year was thought about. They then applied this information to develop a paragraph which would be included as their comments in the learning skills section of their final report cards.
The success of this is in the fact that each student has a starting point for next year to jump off from. As well, it really makes me self-reflect on my assessment strategies of them and perhaps the need for more self-assessment built into their learning for next year and because it was such a success, how I wished I had done this with each report!
To further back up my own observation is that plenty of research underlines that when students are engaged fully in assessment, they are really connecting and learning:
(Black & William, 1998; Chappuis & Stiggins, 2002; Rolheiser & Ross, 2001; White & Frederiksen, 1998).
Confidence and efficacy play a critical role in accurate and meaningful self-assessment and goal-setting. Rolheiser, Bower, and Stevahn (2000) argue that self-confidence influences “[the] learning goals that students set and the effort they devote to accomplishing those goals. An upward cycle of learning results when students confidently set learning goals that are moderately challenging yet realistic, and then exert the effort, energy, and resources needed to accomplish those goals” (p. 35).
By explicitly teaching students how to set appropriate goals as well as how to assess their work realistically and accurately, teachers can help to promote this upward cycle of learning and self-confidence (Ross, 2006).
From the Growing Success Document:
- developing students’ ability to self-assess – as a way of increasing students’ engagement in and commitment to learning.
- Assessment plays a critical role in teaching and learning and should have as its goal the development of students as independent and autonomous learners.
- As a result of developing self-assessment skills, students learn to identify specific actions they need to take to improve, and to plan next steps – that is, to define their long- and short-term individual goals with increasing clarity and realism